- Lack of sleep can put you at risk of obesity and weight gain
- It can increase risk of type 2 diabetes
- Sleeping well is required for good memory and concentration
Lack of sleep or sleep deprivation can play havoc with your health. For starters, it can negatively affect your immunity and may interrupt with your weight loss goals. Not sleeping well for nights in a row can affect your mental abilities as well. Getting less than seven hours of sleep on a regular basis can lead to health consequences that affect your entire body. Digestive system, respiratory system, immune system and central nervous system can all be affected by lack of sleep or sleep deprivation.
Sleep deprivation: Risks associated with lack of sleep
Insufficient sleep has been linked to a number of health problems. Here are some of them.
1. Weight gain: Not sleeping well for even one night can put your body in sleep debt. What's worse is that it may increase cravings and appetite. Sleep deprivation disturbs the balance of chemicals which signal the brain that you are full. As a result, you are likely to overeat even if you are full. This may lead to weight gain, obesity and other health risks linked to being overweight.
2. Low libido: Not sleeping well can lower your sex drive. The decrease in libido in men maybe because of a drop in testosterone levels.
3. Diabetes risk: Body's release of insulin can be affected by lack of sleep. Insulin is the hormone which is required to regulate blood sugar levels. People who don't sleep sufficiently are likely to have higher blood sugar levels and are at higher risk of developing type 2 diabetes.
4. Weak immunity: Sleeping too less can affect immune system's ability to fight virus that cause cold, flu and other infections. It makes you more susceptible to getting sick on being exposed to germs.
5. Mood swings: Being sleep deprived for too long can make you short-tempered, moody and emotional. Being chronically sleep deprived can lead to anxiety and increase risk of depression.
6. Poor concentration and focus: Your thinking, problem-solving skills, concentration and creativity can be negatively affected if you are sleep deprived and haven't rested well.
7. Poor balance: Balance and coordination can be negatively affected if you have not been sleeping well off late. It increases your risk of falls and accidents.
8. High blood pressure: Sleep deprivation needs to be taken seriously by hypertension patients. Sleeping for less than five hours at night increases your risk of getting high blood pressure.
9. Heart disease risk: High blood pressure is one of the top causes of heart disease. Sleep deprivation can also increase inflammation in the body, which can also increase risk of heart disease.
10. Poor memory: When you are asleep, the brain forms connections that can help you process and remember information. Not sleeping well can affect both short and long-term memory.
Sleep deprivation: What you can do?
Working on your sleep and making time for it no matter how busy your life is, can help in preventing sleep deprivation.
- Limit daytime naps to sleep well at night.
- Create a comfortable environment in your bedroom. Lights, temperature and your bed should be comfortable and sleep-friendly.
- Go to bed at the same time every night and wake up at the same time every morning.
- Eat light dinners. Avoid eating heavy meals before bedtime.
- Do relaxing activities before going to bed like reading, breathing exercises or meditation.
- Exercise regularly but don't exercise close to your bedtime.
- Cut down on your intake of alcohol.
Disclaimer: This content including advice provides generic information only. It is in no way a substitute for qualified medical opinion. Always consult a specialist or your own doctor for more information. NDTV does not claim responsibility for this information.